New Zealand shares gained, led higher by Ryman Healthcare and Stride Property, as Plexure Group dropped following a price enquiry.
The S&P/NZX50 Index rose 18.59 points, or 0.2 percent, to 8,443.5. Within the index, 26 stocks rose, 19 fell and five were unchanged. Turnover was a light $89 million.
"The market has had a positive start to the year with good leads from offshore," said Greg Easton, adviser at Craigs Investment Partners. "There's quite a lot of optimism coming out of the US – the tax changes, the economy is growing, jobs news has been good."
Ryman Healthcare led the index higher, up 2.5 percent to $10.91. Stride Property rose 2.3 percent to $1.79, with Auckland International Airport gaining 1.7 percent to $6.69.
Synlait Milk was the worst performer, down 2.7 percent to $6.91, with Air New Zealand falling 1.6 percent to $3.16 and Sky Network Television dropping 1.4 percent to $2.80.
Outside the benchmark index, Tower gained 2.3 percent to 68 cents. A substantial product holder notice filed yesterday shows National Australia Bank ceased to be a substantial shareholder on Dec. 28, when it sold down half its stake in the general insurer, leaving it with 3.7 percent.
Plexure Group plunged 21 percent, or 5 cents, to 19 cents. The company today said it continues to comply with NZX disclosure rules after a price enquiry from the stockmarket operator. The NZX enquiry came after Plexure shares jumped 55 percent, or 8.6 cents, to 24 cents over the course of yesterday.
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